Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Bunyan-Burrough Debate > Burrough, Truth Witnessed Forth [2 of 3]
Then thou comes on, falling on thy own foul ignorance again, and wouldst fain clear thy self, but by thy stirring thy own wickedness herein, thou makes it cast an odious sight to all that pass by, (we may follow thee a little, seeing thou art not yet weary) and fain wouldst thou make it appear that the Blood of Christ was shed before the World was, and sayst it was, in Gods account; but to this I have spoken, and largely shewed thy blindness to all men, and adds this upon thy head; thou art a Lyar and Perverter of Scripture to say, That the Blood of Christ was shed before the World was.
And further thou art a Lyer, to say, That God accounts a thing for Truth which is a Lye; a sad error, and wicked.
And further thou art a Lyar, to say, that I corrupt thy words: for I had not laid open thy nakedness so fully, if thou hadst not persisted in thy blindness, as now I am forced to do, but enough of this, and more then ever thou canst clear thy self of honestly; and yet to cover thy own shame charges me falsly with folly, to speak evil of things I know not, or else with madness, &c.
Reply, Friend, be not so confident, I know the difference betwixt, before, and since, or from, and know that God accounts not a Lye for Truth (as thou holds out) thy own folly and madness; behold, who commits iniquity in lying on the Scripture, and on God, and on me, and yet persists after a sober reproof, and resists the Reprover, with opproprious words, let confusion of face cover thy impudent forehead, while I forgive thee, and seeks not vengeance against thee; then through thy mistake of my words, thou hast falsly gathered a subject to oppose, and fights with thy own understanding mightily, and thinkst thou confoundst me, and its thy self; for however thou understands my words, either for want of wit, or otherwise, it never entred into my thoughts, with charging thee to believe that Christ is a tipe; only I charge thee that thou saidst so of others; So that I think this is a mistake in thee for want of knowledge to understand my rehersal of thy words, being transcribed at the shortest, not to fill volumes, and through thy own misunderstanding of my laying down the words, thou heavily, yet vainly charges me with corrupting thy words, which God is my witness I have not done, though thou be guilty herein.
But further, I deal plainly, and slanders not in secret, as thou dost, we do not look on Christ to be but a shadow and tipe, if thou affirm I shall answer further, and as to that (thou sayst) I say Jesus is the substance; to that answer I stand, though thou sayst, Thou doubts I do not speak plainly, &c.
Reply, As I have said I seek not a proof of my faith of thee, nor any man, nor do I beg thy belief while I am approved in the sight of God, herein I matter not what a lying spirit doubts of me, so that what vain Arguments, or Queries thou raises from thy own false doubt I pass by, being by the present thing, branching out in things on the by, if I should examine every particular, I might fill a volume.
And whereas thou hast answered my question, which is; did Christ put an end to the Law for them, who yet live in the transgression of the Law? or doth he justifie that which the Law condemns, before the work of the Law be finished? In thy Answer thou sayst, Christ did put an end to the Law for Righteousness, for all that the Father hath given him, This is little to the Question.
I say that Transgressors of the Law, are not Christs, but Children of Disobedience, and Children of Wrath, and such God hath not given to Christ, who are his Enemies, nor Christ to them is not given, but to condemn them in that estate, and thou sayst there are many given to Christ, who yet lives in their sins; the Apostle John saith, he that sins is of the Devil, and hath not known God, and such as are of the Devil are not Christs; and in that I said, doth Christ justifie that which the Law condemns before the work of the Law be finished, and not one tittle of the Law shall fail, till all be fulfilled? thou hast not reached the understanding of my words, for while disobedience stands and the Transgressor lives, the work of the Law is not finished, nor fulfilled, but to that is Condemnation, and not Justification; if thou hast an ear thou mayst hear, for he that transgresseth the Law is an Enemy to Christ, and Christ fulfills not the Law for his Enemies, they must bear their own burthen; and though this thou cannot understand now, yet in the day of Judgement shalt thou feel it, and when the burthen of thy own Iniquity is upon thee, then shalt thou confess to what I have said, and read me in what now thou canst not understand; and in the mean time, I deny that Christ hath put an end to the Law for thee, who art a Lyar, and breaks one, and so is guilty of all.
Many of thy words might be weighed and searched, but I am no picker of quarrels; but to my last Query, thou sayst little to the purpose, which is; what assurance have any, that the Law is fulfilled for them, who are yet Transgressors of it, in themselves? but sayst, Assurance comes through believing and obedience to the Law is a fruit of believing;&c. Saying every one that hath the hope of the Son of God purifies himself as he (Christ) is pure.
Reply, Then he that hath not the fruit, (viz.) obedience to the Law, we may judge by the fruit, or for want of fruit is no Believer; and he that is not purifyed as he is pure (Christ) hath not the hope of being the Son of God, but is without hope, now see where thou art, who yet breaks the Law, and is without (thy own noted) fruit of believing, neither is purifyed as he is pure, and so is without hope, this is according to thy own affirmation; if thou canst not bear it, blame thy self for laying down such a position, as hath proved thy self to be an Unbeliever, and without hope; and so without God in the World; one that is for condemnation, and to be judged in the state where now thou standst.
And whereas thou sayst, I would lay assurance on obedience to the Law; thou lyest in this also, my words are, the Law must be fulfilled in you by Christ, in Judgement and in Righteousness, if ever you receive Salvation, and these words are true against all thy opposition, neither do I affirm that by the deeds of the Law any flesh living shall be justified (but the contrary) though thou wouldst falsly (yet secretly) cast it upon me, and wickedly callst this my frothy argument, where I said the Law convinceth, and is a School-master to bring to Christ, &c.
But the froth proceeds out of thy mouth, for this Argument comprehends thee, and stands out of thy reach, for all thy detestable speeches against me, and the truth; and the rest of my following words thou hast passed by, where I say, who owns not that which convinceth of sin, how can they own him that takes it away by his Blood? and this is truth; and tell me in justness according to my first Query in that page, how is sin taken away from thee, more then from the Pope? seeing neither of you hath the fruit of ceasing to commit sin: And art not thou in the froth, who opposes me, as though (I should say yet never did nor thought) that justification must be sought by the deeds of the Law, and so gathers a false conception, and fights with it, and keeps thy self doing in nine sheets against four, and yet hast passed over many speciall things, almost the chiefest; and though no flesh shall be justified by the deeds of the Law, yet must all flesh living be condemned for the transgression of the Law by Christ, who freely gives Life to all that believes; if thou hast an ear thou mayst hear; in the next thou seemst (or wouldst at least) to defend thy self from my charge which shall (if it doth not) lie heavy upon thee, which is that I call thee Slanderer, and truly too, from thy words, where thou falsly accused the Quakers with boasting, and Hypocrisie, and in thy answer thou sayst, I need not be offended, for thou dost not know our fellow, for boasting, in that (thou sayst) we cry up our selves, and condemn all others, &c.
But this is no proof of the former Accusation, but an addition to thy former wickedness, let honest men consider I asked thee when thou didst hear any of them boast, or see them live in Hypocrisie; but not a word to this sober desire, but adds sin to sin, a bad way to clear thy self, and thy God, Be ashamed; for crying up self, we deny, but yet must say, or else say falsly, That we are of God, and the whole World lies in wickedness, and he that is of God heareth us, and is one with us; and this is as the Saints testified, and is neither boasting nor Hypocrisie; then to my question, which was; Will that Faith which is without works justifie? and thou sayst no, &c.
Then I Reply, what is thy condition and theirs, who are not only without works of faith; but in the very works of darkness, as Lying and false Accusing, &c. And seeing thou sayst no, Consider, whether thou hast faith, and whether thy works which are like good workes proceed not from the unbelieving ground; and this I add to my next I asked which thou hast passed by; must not every one receive according to their deeds, in the day of Judgement; and then thou runs out in high words against me, in that I said, if to talk of him (Christ) his Birth, Blood, &c. Were Faith in him, and living by faith, then few would want it; and further I add the Pope himself would have it, and my words are just and honest, without exception or contradiction, but only that something thou must needs say; though thou say many can talk of Christ, that will fall short of Heaven, &c. And asks me a question, and sayst, Is there not enough in them, (viz:) Birth Blood, &c. to justifie, &c.
I answer the knowledge of all things whatsoever without, will not justifie, except Christ be within, and if he be within, the power of his Life, Blood, Birth, &c. is known and received and felt, and in this I preach, not any other Gospel then the Apostles, who said, Say not who shall ascend or descend to fetch him, (Mark) but what saith it; the Word of Faith (or of the Gospel) which are not divided, is nigh thee in thy mouth, and in thy heart.
And thou falsly again charges the Quakers with corrupting, (and beguiling many) by those Scriptures.
Reply, Beguiling is thy own, and corrupting of Scriptures too, as is proved, and whilst thou accuses us falsly in these things, thy self art proved truly guilty, in the sight of all that are spiritual; and as to thy charging me, That the man Christ Jesus is not very pleasant to me, And with Scoulding, &c.
Thy slanders I bear with patience, and thy reproaches which is not for evil, but for Christs sake, who dyed at Jerusalem, and is revealed in me; and for shame cease to say, Thou art ruled by Scripture, a Lyar, and Slanderer, and Preverter of Scriptures, is not led with the Spirit that gave forth the Scripture, but is ruled by the Devil, and is out of Scripture rule: then thou goes on, and wouldst justifie thy ignorant saying, How are they deceived who own Christ; no otherwise then as he was before the World began, &c.
|And my * answer to it thou hast not touched, nor truly contradicted, which stands over thee, and is sufficient to all honest people, and Christ we own the same yesterday to day& for ever; and doth believe the Father granted that request, and he is glorified with the same glory that he had before the World was, and though thou tell me of a double meaning, yet in plainness I speak without doubleness, the fault is in thy weakness, and sottishness, and blindness of heart, who knows not that which is infinite and immortal, and eternal, the flesh of Christs body is so.||* Page the 14. of my first.|
Then thou falsly charges me again (in that I said) if every spirit be of God which doth in words confess thus (viz.) that Christ was with the Father before the World was (was born and suffered in the flesh and was buried and raised, &c.) then is not the Pope himself Antichrist, &c. As (in my fourteenth page) which putting on a vail and ventering upon thy words.
But I have spoken the truth herein, let that in thy Conscience answer in nakedness without a vail, the vail is on thy heart,& thou canst not understand me, and so this is thy simple policy to say the vail is on me; and what of that, if I ventred on it, it is but in the fear of God, though I should say I deny all that thou sayst, or the speaking of any thing, for I do not own thy voice, though some of thy words be true, and though thou speak words of truth, yet therefore I reprove thee, and sometimes may not let it pass for truth; for Christ is my example herein, who reproved the Devils, though they confessed him, (Mark that) but the chief part of my words are passed over, and read over again, and see if it is not truth it self, where I said, It is not much better, nor more accepted, to confess Christ in words to be come, and yet inworks to deny him, then it is both in words and works to deny him, the one is wicked in prophaness, the other in Hypocrisie, the one is a Lyar, and the other a false Witness, and let the honest Judge; then whereas I said Christ is a mystery; and unto him he is Light, and shall be Salvation, where his person, supposed son of Joseph, never came; which words are true, not gain-sayed by thee, though thou ask, Did he obtain salvation for any without that body which he took of the Virgin?
Ans. That body which was begotten by the holy Ghost is not so carnal as thou supposest, and that spiritual Rock which followed them, saved them, and the same Son of God the Saviour, who was born a Child to them, was the Prince of peace, yea, the everlasting Father, but thy eye sees not this, and therefore thou sayst: Here's the place where he is not, and the place where he hath not been, (Now thou sayst) Thou passes by many things which thou mightest justly examine, and also many unseemly expressions.
O thou deceitful heart and tongue! is this thy excuse when my words are beyond thy reach either to understand or contradict? thou wants that Spirit which can examine of truth, be it known unto thee; and what are those unseemly expressions? wilt thou slander always in secret, without evidence? and if these be they, in that I said, our innocency will appear when thy black vaile of Lyes is taken away; and this is truth, and is no way but seemly to be spoken to thee, who art an Enemy of God; then thou wouldst justifie thy further slander, who said, we wrest that Scripture, John 1.9.
And my answer is, we take it without adding or diminishing, which is true, and no Lye, nor wresting of it; neither in thy Reply can I find that thou provest it, though many words uttered, little to the purpose, with adding to thy former slanders, in saying, We would hold that that Light is the Spirit of Christ; this is not spoken in all my Book, but that it is one in union I say; and not contrary to the Spirit of Christ, but witnesseth of it, and to it.
And thou further saith, We say many things, which thou knowest to be Blasphemy; This is another Lye, prove one Blasphemy.
And further thou sayst, Christ, as he is Mediator, doth not enlighten every one that comes into the world, &c.
Reply, Well, thy ignorance and wickedness vents it self forth apace, let any man read that first of John, and see whether he doth not speak of Christ as Mediator; he saith, He was in the beginning with the Father, and was made flesh and dwelt with the Disciples; and his Life was the Light of men, and the Light shined in Darkness; and that was he which lighteth every man that comes into the World; and he came to his own, but they received him not, but as many as received him, to them he gave power to become the Sons of God, &c.
What sayst thou? Was not this spoken of Christ as Mediator? Consider, and be instructed, rather then let thy Blood go for it; however I leave thy Doctrine, thy Errors herein to be judged by them that are spiritual, and for shame cease such Doctrine, the more I rake among the filth, the more vilely and odious it appears; and for thy proof of this Doctrine, thou bringst Mat. 11.25. and sayst, here the Father and the Son are speaking one to another; but what doth this prove, though it be so? doth it any way follow that John did not speak of Christ as Mediator? John 1. what vain productions thou bringst from thy impertinent proofs, let them be weighed, and taken notice of honestly; and thou bidst me understand thus much, That nature which is Conscience, is the Light of God.
I understand thy blindness; if this be so as thou sayst, then mans nature is pure without sin, as the Light of God is; and this is error abominable, contrary to the Scripture, which saith, All by nature are the Children of Wrath; are all by the Light of God (as thou sayst nature is) Children of Wrath? see thy Divinity, and take it as it is truly interpreted, I desire not to wrong thy words; thou givest me to understand the greatest ignorance from those things that lately I have heard, no not the like in England; and it is very true, as I said thy folly appears by thy much medling.
Then thou askst me, What I will have the Light called, wherewith every man in the World is lightned, and because I do not call it the Spirit of Christ, thou (as it were) murmurs; because I have cut off thy occasion, and thou canst not bend thy tongue with any seeming advantage against the Truth; but in that I say the Light of Christ convinceth of sin, which is true, thou on a sudden produces thy bad consequences, and askes, if I call nature the Light of Christ, and such like. &c.
But they all do not prove the contrary, so that which convinceth of sin, is worth minding and taking notice of, by all that ever are saved; and as to that where I say, that which may be known of God was manifest in them, even in them that were given up to work unrighteousness, &c.
I said the truth, which thou art not able to contradict in equity, though thou very ignorantly bendst thy answer (as if I had said) the Knowledge of God was made manifest in them, when I say plainly in my Book, that they were turned from the Knowledge of God, and yet that which might be known of him was manifest in them; and this thou canst not deny: And though my words, as layed down, are not in the Scripture words, in terms, yet I have not said falsly herein, and do not thou be a reprover of that which thou cannot thy self deny; then thou sayst, How feeble an argument is this to prove, that every one hath the Spirit, &c.
Reply, Thou blind man, did I go about to prove any such thing or make any Argument thereupon; we are about the Light which Christ hath given, or lighted every man in the World withal, which Light convinceth of sin, and is not contrary to the Spirit of Christ; unto this was I speaking, and this I stand by, and thou conceives another thing from my words, and fights against thy own consequences, like a man too irrational to understand common English, &c.
Then thou sayst, Thou passed by other lame Arguments, which I tumble over like a blind man in a thicket of bushes.
O be ashamed for ever! thus to evade and shuffle, with such scornful words; I said, that which reproves of sin is the gift of the Spirit of God, John 16. and that which makes manifest sin, is Light, and whatsoever is reproved is made manifest by the Light, Ephes. 5, how darest thou call these lame Arguments, tumbling over? what impudence is in thy heart, so to say? when thou art put to confusion, then such excuses thou bringst; Well, some may see thy folly: Then to my Question which was, whether that Light which every man is lighted withal, is sufficient in it self for Life and Salvation to every one that believes? if thou say, not; wherein is the blame, in God, in his Light, or in the Creature; thou sayst, No it is not sufficient; I take it for an answer, and leaves it to be weighed by the sober Reader, and though there be vessels of honour, and of dishonour made of the same lump, as thou sayst, yet I further Query; is not every mans blood that perisheth of his own head? and is not the Lord clear from the blood of all men, even though they go to destruction? and if the Reader try thy Book over, he may judge whose Arguments are lame.
Then whereas thou said, Christ, as God, hath lighted every man that comes into the world, To which I said, then, why dost thou say we wrest that Scripture, John 1.9. seeing thou thy self hast confessed no less then what thou callest wresting in us; and this is truth, let all men consider else; that when thou confesses Christ as God hath lighted every man in the World, it is no less than what we say, and that Scripture sayes, which is, That Christ is the true Light, and that is he which lighteth every man that comes into the World; and mayst not thou be ashamed to call this so scornfully a glavering Answer, not being able to clear thy self from my just charge, in that herein I charged thee with confusion to oppose us, in that which thy self confesseth to be true; consider well of it, and let not thy blood go for the truth of all what thou sayst, for I desire it not.
Further thou cries out, Is this all the wit I have, and wonderful ignorance, Because I said it is not good to neglect following the Light, but that every one minde the Light of Christ Jesus in them; in answer to thy words which was having said, the Light which convinceth of sin is the Light of Christ as God, which the neglect of, will be sure to damn, as thou sayst; and now let wise men judge of my answer; but thou falls heavily on it, proving that obedience to the Law will not justifie, and the like, which I do not at all affirm; but to that I say, the Law having its operation upon the disobedient, the Justifier comes to be seen, which is he that is the end of the Law, and the Law must by him be obeyed or fulfilled in thee, if ever thou be saved from being damned by it.
Consider of this, when thou hast a better understanding for its yet hidden from thee; then when thou hast thus cried out against my just Answer, thou tells me what I should have said; Alas, poor man! thou reaches not what the knowledge of things eternal is, by that wisdom in which thou art, I need no man to teach me, but the Lord.
Then thou sayst, Jesus Christ hath obeyed the Law, and justified thee, &c.
Reply, Nay hold, repent first, and be turned from thy iniquities, and believe in him, and boast not thy self so proudly; thou art in the transgressions of the Law in disobedience to it, a Lyar, Slanderer, and Scorner, one that the Prince of the power of the Air rules in, a Child of Wrath, and every one shall dye for his own iniquity, and the soul that sins shall dye, and wrath to every one that doth evil, and the revelation of the Judgments of God; Learn what this meanes, or ask them that are of a better understanding then thy self.
Then thou seemst to minde me of some weakness, and cries out, Wonderful foolishness, &c.
Because I said, the Light of Christ, given to every man, Joh. 1.9. as thou confessest, is not contrary to the Spirit of Christ, and to the Grace of God, but is one in their nature (Mark) and a man cannot possibly love one of them, and hate another; therefore one they are, in the union, leading in the same way, unto the same End; and where doth the Spirit of Christ give light, or the Grace of God work or lead, if not in the Conscience? &c.
These are my words, Now let honest men consider, and John Bunnion be silent, what foolishness or wonderful weakness, is in these words, but only to the wisdom which is devilish, which despiseth truth? or what cause was there to blush, when I wrote them? as he impudently saith, who cannot contradict them, nor reprove them, and yet railes upon them: no marvel that thou wouldst pass them, as thou sayst with such a poor shift to evade with a Lye, that thou hast spoken to it already, when as thou hast not medled of these things.
O let not thy impudency so sottishly carry thee, (for thy shame is seen and laid open, its good (in thy light) to pass that which confounds thee, which is past answering) so to save thy credit among thy fellows; the cause to blush is in thy self, and its brought to thy own door.
Then thou pleads for the Scripture to be the Rule in opposition to my Question, which is not answered; which was, can there be any surer thing for the Creature to look to, to walk to Life, or to come to God by, then the Light of Christ which every man hath given him, &c.
But thou mayst for shame cease pleading for Scripture rule, being thy self art so far contrary to it; for he that walks in the Life of the Scripture, I have union with him, and the Light of Christ is a more surer Testimony, either to witness Justification or Condemnation, then any mans words without, whatsoever; then my other Question was, whether the Turks, Jewes, and thee, and others, do serve sin and lust, because Christ hath not given you Light to discover your sins, or because you hate that Light, that is given? and much to this thou speakst not pertinent, nor answerest in plainess; I leave it to the Reader to judge, and to read my answer Page 17. of my first, which clears truth from all what thou hast said against it in this particular.
Now I come to the next thing, where thou Foolishly chargest me, That my Doctrine is not according to Truth, but a Lye, Charging me to affirm that which the Apostle doth deny; Because I said the Spirit is given to every man, though every man receives it not; and it strives with the wicked, though he follow it not, &c.
My words herein are Truth, and no Lye, neither contrary to the Scripture, and let the Reader be judge betwixt us; the Apostle saith the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal; and some of these to whom he writes thus, were wicked, given to incest and idolatry, and other sins; here I prove, it was given to the wicked, and thou confesses the Righteous had it, and there is but these two on the face of the Earth; Now if thou canst find a man that is neither wicked, nor righteous, then thou hast advantage, then some hath not the manifestation of the Spirit; the Saints had the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, and he (the Spirit of Truth) convinced or reproved the World of sin; they that were not Saints, but wicked had it, reproving them; Mark these things, and let honest men judge, while both thou and I am silent, whether thy Doctrine, which denyes that which the Scripture affirms, or mine which bears witness to the same thing which the Scriptures speaks, be to be disowned, let an equal Line measure; the shame, and false Doctrine is fallen upon thee, and thou art offended (that I should say thou bringst other vain Arguments) with a vapour, saying, Neither I, nor my fellows are able to answer, &c.
But I say true, the Arguments are vain, one is, The Devils are convinced, but have not the Spirit, or such like, Now what is this to the purpose, that thou contendst in that wherein no body strives with thee, nor none affirms against thee; and it is a vain Argument to parallel the Devil in such a case, as having the Spirit; but thou art so blind, its hardly possible to let thee see thy ignorance herein; I may not much strive with thee, onely Ile tell thee of those things, and the sober Reader shall judge; to instance a thing impossible, to prove things possible, are vain Arguments, so that I have herein done thee no wrong. Then thou cries out of my weakness, and that I Blaspheme, and of a great deale of ignorance discovered in me, and bidst me be silent, and falsly charges me with Presumption, and such like, &c. Because I said, thus much I leave with thee, till thou prove the Light of Christ, (which thou confesseth every man hath) to be contrary to the Spirit of Christ; I shall say every man hath that which is one in union, and like the Spirit of Christ, even as good as the Spirit of Christ, according to its measure; these are my words, Page 18. and I own them, and thy answer to them is no contradiction, nor just confutation of them; but lyest, in saying, I call Conscience, and Nature it self the Spirit of Christ; this is false, never spoken by me, so that thou hast uttered a pack of railing words, without any knowledge or fear of God, instead of a sober Answer; the blasphemy and great deal of ignorance and presumption appears not in my words, they are truth, and thou hast not proved that the Light of Christ is contrary to the Spirit of Christ; Nay, thy simple policy is too short, when thou hadst done so, then had been a time to have cast these opprobrious speeches at me, like venome from a Viper; but the weakness (or strength of error) and blasphemy, and the great deal of ignorance and presumption &c. is fallen at thy door, and there I leave it, clear thy self from it as thou art able, who without any confutation of the words, falls impudently to charge me thus highly and falsly from the words, be thou silent, while the Reader judges: Then thou goes about to defend thy first wickedness, in that thou said, the Devil doth deceive poor Souls, by bidding them listen within; and turn the minde within, and see if there be not that which doth convince of sin, &c.
And my Answer to this is sound, and stands over thee, and unreproved by thee though many words thou speakest; yet from the Scripture doth not prove, or by honest Arguments, that the Devil doth deceive any, by bidding them to turn to the Light within, which convinceth of sin; if thou wouldst have cleared thy self, thou shouldst have proved thy assertion, according to my desire, I asked thee; was ever such a thing spoken, that the Devil can deceive any by the Light of Christ? but to this not a word in proof, but saith, Every man hath not the Spirit of Christ, &c.
But further then I Query, Doth the Devil deceive any by bidding them to turn in, and listen to that Light spoken of John 1.9. for that Light am I contending for, and not any other contrary to it; then thou sayst, thou denyst, That Paul bid listen within, telling me of making shelter for my error, &c. This is no error to say, that Paul bids listen within, let the Reader judge from that Scripture, Rom. 10.6. The righteousness of faith speaks on this wise, vers. 6. (which is the voice of the Gospel) and vers. 9. what saith it, the Word is nigh thee, in thy Mouth, and in thy Heart; was not that the end of these words, to listen within? the Word is in the Heart; what saith it there? now the error is thine, that denyst the truth; and the Lye is returned to the Founder, who denyes that Paul bids listen within; when its plain he saith, The Word is in the Heart; what saith it there?
O that a man professing knowledge and enterprizing such things, should be so sottish! and so unable to finish what he hath begun; then thou cryest out hidiously, and notes it in the margent, for wresting of thy words, in that I said, thou sayst, They are ignorant of the Gospel who closes in with these motions of the Light within (or Conscience) which doth command to abstain from the evil, and to practise good; and thy own words are; Now the poor soule through ignorance of the Gospel closes in with these motions of its own Conscience (viz.) the motions which convinceth of sin within, which doth command to abstain from this evil, and practice this good; so let wise men consider whether I have wronged that intent of thy words; and be not so soon angry, for thou canst not vindicate, that they that closes in with these motions of the Conscience, or the Light of Christ within, which convinceth of sin within, which doth command to abstain from this evil, and to practice this good, is ignorance of the Gospel; and do not evade it by words without knowledge, in picking of quarrels, and seeking offences (by different tearms of words) where no occasion justly is given thee. Then my Question thou seemest to answer, which was, what, and how doth the Light of the Gospel work, if not in the Conscience, and to command from evil, and to practice good? this Query stands over thy head, not confuted, nor fully answered; for the true understanding of it thou hast not comprehended, but to thy own conception, thou hast answered as if I should say, that every man hath the Light of the Gospel working in them to Salvation, which I never said nor thought; so thy answer is not to the purpose.
Then thou hast passed by full slightly (as disable to clear thy Godd and his Spirit, that guides thee, which is the Godd of this World) of that great sum of wickedness justly charged upon thee, Page 19. of my last, which according to true collection is; by turning the mind within to the Light which doth convince of sin, and listning thereunto and clasping in with the motions of the Conscience which doth command to abstain from evil, and to practice good, and closing with something within, which thou confessest is the Light of Christ; these things preceding, then thou sayst, Hereby, or thus is the poor soul carried headlong, and at the end of its life doth fall into the belly of Hell; This is indeed a sum of wickedness let forth by thee, which when thou receives it in again shall receive the interest upon it, of indignation and vengeance; and though thou hast slipped it now, it shall then be reckoned on John Bunions score. Remember thou owest to prove this before thou be heard any more.
Then again thou criest out, That I have naughtily belyed thee, and the like, because of misplacing a word, and saying, The Light of the World, instead of, the Light brought into the World; thou art an unjust Judge, who makes Offenders for a word misplaceing; but it is plain, thou meanst by Light brought into the World, that Light John 1.9. which every man in the World is lightned withal; and if thou do then thou art a Lyar, in saying in thy first Book, and in this, The Devil counterfeits the new birth, by perswading it is wrought by that Light, and if thou mean not that Light, John 1.9. but that of the Spirit, John 16. (which I say is not divided) then thou art a Lyar also, and now while thou charge me to be guided by Satan, and to be a Lyer, in the very time hast snared thy self in a Lye, and cannot get out, Mark it.
Then thou sayst, Thou passes by many rageing expressions, which thou mightst charge with unrighteousness &c.
Reply, I asked thee, by what is the new birth wrought? and how, if not by following the Light of Christ in the Conscience? is there any other way to God, but Christ Jesus, who hath lighted every man that comes into the World? this is part of that thou hast passed by, with thy lying excuse of Rageing expressions, of which thou mayst be ashamed to equivocate thus poorly to save thy own credit; the charge of unrighteousness justly falls upon thy own head.
Thou further sayst, And eates up thy own wickedness, who said then, and sayst it now, but most ignorantly, That Satan makes the Soul believe, if it will but be led by what shall be made known to it, from the Light (or Conscience) within, it shall do well, &c.
My last Answer to this, is sufficient, onely I ask thee a proof out of the Scripture for this Doctrine, that the Devil do deceive any by the Light of Christ, in the Conscience within; and till then, minde my words in my last Answer; if ever thou knowst God, it must be by following, and by being led with the Light within, which God hath made known unto thee, else that Light is thy condemnation eternally.
Then again thou chargest me with corrupting thy words, for writing the, for their; Now a scorner I charged thee to be, from thy words, and that I yet say of thee, taking thy words in thy own sence, as Page 77. of thy first, doth manifest thee, unto the single eye; and thou secretly chargest us, with following our own spirit, and speaking by our own spirit; but our own Spirit we have denyed, and have received the Spirit of the Father, through the Light of Christ; whereby every man in the World is lighted to Life, or to Condemnation; then thou seemst to be highly offended, that I should say, thou dost not profit people at all, noting it for false in the margent; but thou needst not be so angry, though thou say, The people in the Countrey where thou dwellst will testifie the contrary; &c.
To which I say, thou hast no cause to boast of the fruit of thy Ministry, nor they of much profit received by thee, witness a meeting in Bedford, where a Company of thy chiefest Members, I suppose, uttered much wickedness in Lyes and Slanders, as many can witness; and witness three of thy Brethren, Testators of this Book, who say they know that to be truth, which thou hast declared, and thou art proved a Lyar in many things; let them read themselves false Witnesses and Lyars, like thy self; and these things being considered, as I said, with other things at the end of this, thou hast no cause to boast of thy Ministry, nor they of their profit, by it in that Country, who art unconverted yet, from lying and false accusing, and so art not turned from Satans power to the power of God: And as for a carnal Ministry, of which thou speakst, they are very bad that exceeds thy self in carnality, in thy understanding of the things that are spiritual: Then further thou goest on seeming to bring witness of thy former Slanders, having in thy last, falsly accused us with sad Blasphemies and horrible Doctrines, and thou sayst, My speech bewrayeth me, that I am one of them, because sayst thou, I say that every man hath the Spirit of Christ.
O thou lying tongue, when wilt thou cease thy wickednesse! I never said, nor thought so.
And further thou sayst, I say, there is that in every man which is as good as the Spirit of Christ, my words are, The Light of Christ, lighteth or is given to every man that comes into the World, which Light is not contrary to the Spirit of Christ, but one in the union, and as good in its nature, according to its measure, and till thou prove that that Light John 1.9. is contrary to the Spirit, which yet thou hast not done, stop thy mouth, and take shame to thy self, for being fouly guilty thy self of corrupting my words, which thou falsly chargest on me.
Other things thou sayst, that our society should affirm, but I may have ground to Judge thou art, so slanderous a tongue on me, that the like thou may do of others.
And whereas I said, thou art confounded in thy discourse, I said true herein, as instance; thou sayst, That Conscience may be seared, and evil; and another place, That Conscience is the Light of God; can the Light of God be seared; or is it evil? thou holds it forth.
Consider, is not this confusion; other things I might collect, but this one is sufficient to prove thee in confusion; and though thou reckon us sometimes with the Ranters, and sometimes with the Pharisees, with many words of bitterness and envy, yet we bear thy reproaches, and when they are taken off, then shall we appear, and thou appear, and be judged, as we are, by him that is above all. Then thou falsly chargest me with corrupting that Scripture, in John 3.19. Whereas, I neither added nor diminished, but spoke it, as is to be seen in my Book. Further charging me, that I do not understand a difference between the Light of the Law, and the Light of the Gospel, &c.
Friend, I rejoyce in that I am hidden from thee, and that my words are a stumbling to thee; for in that state thou standest the entrance into the Kingdom of God, thou shalt not know, whose wisdom is foolishness with God; and though thou sayst the Light of Christ is a saving comforting Light, so will it be to thee a condemning Light, and of all Lyars and Slanderers; and this shalt thou know, though thou art busied up and down, in thy minde, seeking occasions against me, from my words, not clearing thy self from what I have truly charged upon thee, but accusing me falsly; and this is come to pass, that thy shame might openly appear, as to that difference of the Law, and Gospel; thy wisdom with my knowledge of it, I shall not feed, yet I leave the Reader to consider, Deut. 30 from vers. 11. to 16. And Rom. 10.7,8. And what I said yet remains upon thee undone to prove by the Scripture, something to convince of sin without, and besides, or contrary to the Spirit of God, which thou art never able to do; for though thou sayst (as none affirm) the Light in every mans Conscience is not the Spirit of God, yet how dost thou prove; or when that it is contrary to the Spirit of God, which in my last I put upon thee, and now I leave it with thee; and then thou wouldst excuse thy first words, in that thou called the Quakers fond Hypocrites, but hast not yet proved that they live in Hypocrisie, and so art a Lyar still, and my words are just upon thee, a perverter of the right Way of God thou art, and in the day of Judgement it shall be proved by thy recompence. Then thou goest about to prove, That a natural man may have power over sin, and abstain from those things forbidden in the Law; and for thy proof thou instances in Paul, who said, he was blameless, Phil. 3. Now this was before the commandment came from God to him, which let him see the Law was spiritual; and this doth not prove that he had power over sin; for he was in Envy, and so a Murtherer, and had not power over sin, according as I asked thee; if thou sayst he had power over sin, &c.
As thou seemst to do before he was convicted, while he was a natural man; then it was no sin to persecute Jesus; and this would be blasphemy, the product of thy Doctrine; but this thou hast cunningly slipped, where I asked thee, to get power over sin, and to abstain from those things forbidden in the Law, is it not further then thou ever came? and because thou wilt not answer, I do, and say yea, and concludes, that John Bunions state is not so good as Pauls, while he was a persecuter according to his own Doctrine; and thou sayst the Gentiles did by nature the things contained in the Law; true, but their state was not condemned, but justified, before the Circumcision; and I ask thee, Is any condemned by the Lord, who are excused in his sight? or is any justified who is accused? and my words are sound, which thou ignorantly comments upon, where I said, I rather chose to be of that profession which abstains from those things forbidden in the Law, and to have power over sin, then to live in the transgression of the Law, and under the power of sin, yet talking of belief in the Son of Mary, &c. Let the Reader judge whether of these Religions is more accepted in the sight of God, thy Religion is proved to be talking of belief, in the Son of Mary, and art in the transgression of the Law, a Lyar, a false Witness, in Envy, and Backbiting, and such like; thy false belief will not save thee in the day of the Lord.
Then further thou still confessest, that as he is God, Christ lighteth every man that comes into the World; then, wherefore dost thou make all this ado, in opposing us, in this particular? yet let's try thy Doctrine, whether it be sound; thou sayst, This Light, wherewith Christ, as God, hath lighted every man, is Conscience; and yet sometimes saith, This conscience is seared; and hardned, and evil, What is the Light of Christ as God, seared, hardened, and evil? John Bunion holds it forth; this is thy great Ignorance and Blasphemy; and sometimes thou sayst, This Light is Nature, and Nature is corrupted, and sinfull, and in it, all are Children of Wrath; What is the Light of Christ as God corrupted, and sinful? and are all by it Children of Wrath? John Bunions Doctrine holds it forth, though blindness possessed thee, when thou writst this, yet mayst thou blush at the reading hereof.
Then thou goest to give a meaning upon my words: in that I said, the Law is Light, and Light is the Law, which is truth; but I spoke them not for thee to Interpret, with thy lying spirit, but let spirituall men judge of them: Then much ado thou makes in answering my question to thee, but hits not my words at all; I asked thee, and bid thee shew, (if thou canst) any sin which is not against the Law; but this thou canst not do, though thou wouldst prove, if thou couldst, that unbelief is not a sin against the Law of God; then thou speakst of the obedience of the Son of Mary, imputed to us, &c. But I say, the obedience of him without, doth not justifie any, who are in the Nature of enmity against him, who is not a new creature, nor condemned in the flesh, and whereas thou secretly chargest us, with mingling Law and Gospel together, I tell thee we know the operation of each, and doth witness the Ministration of each, and they are not divided nor oppsite one against the other; but the one is the fulfilling of the other; and though thou saidst, you leap over the Law, for Justification, yet it is too high for thee to leap over for Condemnation. Remember this, and all thy feign'd faith, while in that Nature thou standst uncondemned, is but as the stubble for the fire: Then whereas I charged thee with preaching another Gospel, then the Apostle preached, and my charge is true upon thy head, and my proof is sound against thee; he directed to the Word within, in the heart, Rom. 10. what saith it, the Word is in the heart; and he turned to the Light from Darkness; but thou sayst; who shall ascend to fetch him, men must follow him to the Cross without, and to Heaven without, &c. And so art one that saith, lo here, and lo there; but these things thou hast passed by, with thy lying excuse of quarreling, a many poor shifts thou art fain to make; and in that I said, thou wast a Lyar, in saying, the Light (viz.) of Christ, as God, doth not shew the soul a Saviour, or Deliverer; my charge upon thee is true, and stands unremoved; and I asked thee, if the Light of Christ doth not shew Christ, to all that walk in the Light, then what can, but this? thou hast passed also most deceitfully, which stands upon thee to answer, or to stop thy mouth, then thou wouldst excuse thy contradictions charged upon thee, in that thou saydst they are wickedly deluded, who own Christ no otherwise, then as he was before the World; and yet saying God onely is the Saviour, and there is none besides him; and all thou sayst clears not thy self, from contradiction herein let honest men be judge betwixt us both, for thou judgest falsely me to be naught, and I am sure thou art naught; and thou wilt not take my judgement, I may not take thine, (let impartiality judge betwixt us) then thou wouldst excuse thy slanders charged justly upon thee, in saying, that Quakers make light of the Resurrection; and to prove thy wickedness, thou askest us, whether it be so? its time enough for us to answer; when thou hast brought evidence of the first accusation; what poor proof is this for to cover thy self; though to add to thy wickedness. Thou sayst, thou knowst we deny it; I ask thee, when it was? or where it was? O thou Enemy of Righteousness, yea, thou shalt arise in the day of Judgement to shame and contempt, and this I affirm, except thou repent of this thy wickedness.
Then whereas thou urgest me, that I should have answered, the Query raised from Eph. 4.10. better, or confuted thine, &c. Do not boast, but hear what I say, thou sayst in that answer, that Christ ascended to the right hand of the Father in your Nature. Mark now, thy Nature, and your Nature, who are one with thee, is sinfull and wicked, and of the Devil, for so all Lyars are; and it is Blasphemy to say sinfull wicked divillish Nature, such as John Bunions is, and his Fellows, is at the right hand of God in Heaven; O horrible! consider of this, and see what thy begging an answer hath brought upon thee; I deny, though thou affirm it, that thy, and your Nature, which is wicked, or a man in that Nature is ascended into Heaven; and therefore boast not thy self another time. This nakedness of thine might have been covered, but for thy own boasting; and thou sayst, Acts 1. proves it; let the Reader search, If he can find that Christ ascended in sinful wicked Nature, such as theirs is, who are one with John Bunion; and this is another Lye of the Scripture, and though thou with much impudent confidence affirm the Quakers to be Deluders &c. I say from that we rather love dispraise, then praise, and are, as our fore-Fathers were, counted Deceivers, and yet are true; and thou art deceived in thy own heart in that thou understandst my words, that I should say, as though there were no false Prophets now, because I said they were in the Apostles dayes, which is true, and yet are they now too; even its witnessed by thee, and thy Fellows, who are in their steps, who through covetousness making merchandize of Souls, and your people are ever learning, and not able to come to the knowledge of the truth, and goes for gifts and rewards, and are false Accusers, and such like. Nay, but understand me better, for I say thou art a false Prophet, and thou art now, though thy root sprang forth in the time of the Apostles of which thou art a Branch, and thy Fellows; And though I said that Antichrist was in the dayes of John, and this was before a Quaker was heard of; my words I own, prove that, that the Christians were called Quakers at that day, if thou canst, &c. I allow not thee to be my Interpreter, except I found thee more honest, but doth condemn thy meaning upon my words; and though thou sayst, instead of proving our selves no false Prophets, we prove our selves no Christians, because I said (that word) Quaker was not heard of in those dayes. Now consider, are they no Christians now, whose title or name without, was not given or heard of, in the Apostles days, then Protestants are no Christians, nor Independants are no Christians, nor Anabaptists are no Christians, because they were not called so in the Apostles dayes; and whilest thou hast thought to prove us no Christians, hast cast out thy self also; then thou art no better then we, and what poor Arguments these are, let the wise consider, and vain consequences; I did not say, there were no Quakers then, but not a Quakers heard of (viz.) by that name; for there were thousands of Quakers, who trembled and quaked at the Word of the Lord, Moses, and David, Jeremiah, Isaack, Paul with many more Quakers, and Tremblers, though not then so called; but as I said, such as thou hast, such thou bringst, and thy Master will accept thee.
Then thou sayst I fling durt in thy face, because I said, if we should diligently search thee, we should find thee in their steps, through feigned words, through coveteousness, making merchandize of Souls, loving the wages of unrighteousness. And further I said, among them thou art found, who art preaching for hire, and loves the error of Balaam, who went after Gifts and Rewards, &c. Now thou seemest to be grieved, and calls this a false Accusation, But lets try; the cause admits dispute, Art not thou in their steps, and among them that do these things? ask John Burton, with whom thou art joyned close, to vindicate him, and call him Brother; hath he not so much yearly, 150. l. or more (except thou hast some of it,) which is unrighteous Wages, and Hire, and Gifts, and Rewards. What sayst thou, Art thou not in his steps, and among, and with him and them that do these things? if he be thy Brother, and thou so own him, what is evil in him whom thou vindicates, I lay upon thee; but tell me, who have heard thee deny him, and the rest of the Independants, in these things, which thou knowst he doth act? and in thy answer I cannot find thee fully clearing thy self by denyal, but sayst, That spirit that lead me out of this Way is a lying spirit; out of what Way; I say, out of the way of preaching for Hire dost thou mean? nay, its a lying spirit in thee, that goes in their steps, and among them that goes in this way; and though thou bid me, have a care of receiving by hear say, what I have (said) received in this, is truth, though thou evade it never so much.
As to that, of some bidding thee throw away the Scriptures, &c, Indeed upon such terms, it might be spoken so as to be owned; a Lyar and a Slanderer is an unfit Fellow to meddle with the Scriptures, or to take the Name of the Lord, or of the man Christ Jesus, in his mouth; and I may say truly, what hast thou (unrighteous person) to do, to take his Name, and truth in thy mouth, hateing to be reformed?
And in that I say of thy crying against Christ within, this is true; who said, there was nothing in thee, nor any man (without exception) to be taken notice of, as we may prove by witness, though thou deny it; then, was not Christ within? and what less is this, then to cry against him, when as thou denyed him within, or else concluded he is not worth taking notice of. And though thou say I falsely speak of thee in saying, thou callst the Doctrine of Christ within, false opinions, and take in hand to discover it; but the falseness is in thee, who hath uttered that which is untruth, and contrary to the Gospel, and now denyes it, or would hide thy wickedness; for thou having framed an objection, and speaks of some that are for a Christ within, &c. and then thou sayst, thou wilt discover the falsity of such opinions, Now thou dost here reckon the Doctrine of Christ within a false opinion, or (among them at lest) let the Reader judge, and be thou silent for shame; but all thou sayst clears thee not, from what I said of thee, God shall judge thee, thou lying tongue, and deceitful heart.
Then thou chargest me with folly, and to eat my first words, and to be unstable in judgement, and to fight against the Truth, &c. From my question asked, doth not the Scripture say, Christ is within except you be Reprobates? and is not this thus much, all are Reprobates, but they in whom Christ is within; and yet because I said the measure or manifestation of the Spirit, is given, to every man, this thou hast catched at, and wouldst prove it unsound; but truth is over thee, and both these are true; and further, I say that Christ is given unto the World, yea to all, but all receives him not, and they that do not receive him are Reprobates, though he be given, but not received; and the folly and fighting against truth is in thy self, who says it is contrary to the Scriptures to say the Spirit is given to every one, thou here lyest of the Scripture as its proved, and I do not befool my self in saying the words (or some of them) I own in thy Book, though I have written against the Book; for though thou speak Christs words and the Apostles words, yet thy voice is the strangers, and thy voice I deny, whatever words thou speakst, and is not befooling my self, and here I could justly end my discourse, and what is said is sufficient, to manifest thee and me to the honest Reader. And thus far thy weapons of Slanders are broken, and thy refuge of Lyes are layd waste, and this also is cast by, as our spoyled prey of Babylons treasure, and trampled upon, and know that we are of God, and he that is of God heareth us; and to our God, shall all bow; and before him tremble.